Posts Tagged ‘Tesla’

teslaOne of my favorite bands from the 1980’s that was always wrongfully looped into the hair metal genre was Teslaa a rock band from Sacramento and not LA. The band that was made up of Jeff Keith (Vocals), Frank Hannon (Guitars), Tommy Skeoch (Guitars), Brian Wheat (Bass), and Troy Luccketta (Drums) would release their second album The Great Radio Controversy on February 1, 1989 making the album 30 years old this year. The album was the follow up the highly successful debut album Mechanical Resonance and was produced by both Steve Thompson (Guns N Roses) and Michael Barbiero (Cinderella/Metallica) and it had some success of it’s own. The album title itself was named after the controversy over who had invented the radio. It’s is said that Nikola Tesla was the man who invented the radio, but as we all learned in school that it was Guglielmo Marconi who was credited with inventing the radio. While the album featured the typical metal sound associated with Tesla, the album also saw the band sneak in more bluesy elements to it as it peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Top 200 charts and it was certified double platinum meaning over two million in sales.

max1493513845-back-cover1. Hang Tough– I love the opening bass riff to this track as it kicks off the album as it almost seems that the rest of the band fades in with some amazing guitar work and solos by Tommy in this track that is all about no matter how many bumps you may take, you have to stay and hang tough. 5/5

2. Lady Luck-I love the effect in the beginning almost sounding like a tape malfunction, but the track is also pretty kick ass in this track about someone who sounded like he had it all, but Lady Luck left him and now he’s a loser. 4.7/5

3. Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)– I love the slide guitar intro by Frank Hannon who is the one that brings the blues influence while Tommy keeps the metal aspect going. This was the first single off the album and one that critics absolutely love. The lyrics sound like someone who was happy achieving fame until women came along and ruined it for him. 5/5

4. Be A Man-Another bluesy metal track from the guys in this track that questions what most guys think what it means to be a man while the band is telling  you it’s not about material things, but by doing right by your family, friends, etc. and much more. 4.5/5

5. Lazy Days, Crazy Nights-This is one trackj that further demonstrates the dynamics of Skeoch and Hannon with one playing clean channel while the other plays fully distorted in this track that is all about how the narrator is trying to do good, but he just loves the lifestyle. 4.5/5

6. Did It For The Money– a kick ass rock track that is all about the desperate things people will do for money with the first verse being about a prostitute, the second verse about a man who is willing to rob for money and the third is their interaction. 4.5/5

tesla-924-2242-3-cd7. Yesterdaze Gone-a wild and crazy track that reminds me of Tie Your Mother Down as far as pace in the beginning, but the track is ultimately about a guy who can’t seem to he get his ex off his mind even though he keeps saying that yesterdays gone. 4.2/5

8. Makin’ Magic-a raunchy guitar riff leads this track that is all about reciprocating because if I make you feel good then return the favor. 4.1/5

9. The Way It Is-One of my favorite Tesla songs that had a video release, but was never released officially as a single. It’s not a ballad, but almost a slower paced track that emulates a lot of southern rock. 5/5

10. Flight To Nowhere– The sounds of a plane start off the track before the band comes in on this track that is about a guy who never wants the party to stop because he is on a mission on the flight to nowhere. I love the mixture of clean and distorted guitars on this track, it showcases how special of a duo they were. 4.3/5

11. Love Song– This is exactly what you think it is and that it’s a ballad and a very successful one for the band. It was a top ten hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks and Billboard Hot 100’s charts and for good reason. It’s just an amazing song all around. 5/5

12. Paradise– The electric version of this track is great with the mixture of piano and electric guitars, but you should hear the acoustic version of this song on the Five Man Acoustical Jam. That version is just amazing as well as this one is in it’s own right. 5/5

13. Party’s Over-The Last song on the album and the riff kicks ass as Jeff sings about being so over someone that when they try to come back you tell them sorry the party’s over. 4.2/5

My Final Thoughts– These guys were absolutely amazing and should have never been looped in the Hair Metal category because they were clearly better than most of the bands from that genre. The guitar riffs on this album are insane and Tommy Skeoch was very underrated. That is why I am giving the album 4.6 stars out of five for a final grade.

war of the covers  perfect strangers.jpgLast week, we went on the lighter side of the spectrum of music with a hard rock classic in Street Fighting Man by The Rolling Stones and between Motley Crue and Tesla, you voted and chose Motley Crue as the winner by half the votes. This week we have another hard rock classic for you guys to vote on, but this is a unique one because it’s a battle of metal subgenres. This week we are checking out the classic 1984 track Perfect Strangers which was the title track to Deep Purple’s 11TH studio album (check out the review here). The album was iconic because it featured the return of Deep Purple’s famous Mark II lineup consisting of Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Roger Glover, and Ian Paice. Now you are probably wondering what two bands did I find that covered the track that pin certain metal sub-genres against each other? In one corner, we have progressive metal legends Dream Theater who covered the track for their 1995 EP A Change Of Seasons. In the other corner, we have legendary symphonic black metal legends Dimmu Borgir who covered the song on their 2010 album Abrahadabra. Now only one version can prevail and it’s up to you to make the choice. You have until the next War Of The Covers to decide.


war of the covers rolling stonesAnother week has passed and another war is finished as all of you came by and you voted as to who covered Kiss’s War Machine better. Was it Amon Amarth or was it Six Feet Under? Well, you voted and Amon Amarth came out on top by one vote. When it came to deciding this week’s War Of The Covers, I wanted to go on the hard rock side of things and find a track that some legendary 80’s bands have covered. I found it int he form of the classic 1968 Rolling Stones classic Street Fighting Man which was off of the band’s legendary album Beggar’s Banquet. The two bands we chose for you guys to fight over is none other than 80’s Hair Metal giants Mötley Crüe and a band that should have never been looped in that conversation in Sacramento hard rock legends Tesla. In 2005, Mötley Crüe covered the track for their 2005 greatest hits album Red, White, and Crüe as part of three unreleased never before heard tracks. In 2007, Tesla would include a cover of the song as part of an all covers album entitled Real To Real which also included covers of Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Guess Who, and many more. Now it’s up to you guys to decide who you think did the better cover of Street Fighting Man, is it the bad boys from Hollywood Mötley Crüe or is it Tesla? You have until the next War Of The Covers to decide.

It’s another Saturday which can only mean one thing and that is I have another Soundtrack Saturday pick for all of you. In the early 90’s Arnold Schwarzenegger was still a huge star and one of my favorite 90’s films with him was Last Action Hero which also starred Austin O’Brien, Charles Dance, Anthony Quinn, and so many more. One of the cool things about the soundtrack is that 80’s metal was still a big thing and it was mixed with some of the 90’s metal acts as well. The soundtrack featured the likes of Def Leppard, Alice In Chains, Tesla, Queensryche, but I decided to choose a track from one of my all time favorite Thrash Metal acts in Megadeth. Dave wrote the song in one day apparently while he was going through a rough stage. The song is called Angry Again and it was written at a time when he was on drugs again and he was mad at everyone from the band to some industry people. He describes the track, “I wrote ‘Angry Again’ right after I got out of a treatment center in Arizona. They had done one of those happy little 1990s interventions where everybody who’s not loaded gets to point the finger at everyone who is. And the day I got out of rehab, they threw me into a studio in Phoenix where I wrote ‘Angry Again’ for the movie The Last Action Hero.” The song was written around the time that Countdown To Extinction was written so it has that awesome sound that the album possessed. The song ended up earning the band a Grammy nod for best metal performance which was their fourth nod at the time. It’s definitely one of my favorite Megadeth songs, so you should check it out below and bang that head.

teslaBefore I get into the album that I chose for this week, I have a funny story involving the album I chose. One day, My best friend and I were looking at a jam space in a nearby town because we were starting a band. My best friend wasn’t very educated in 80’s Hard Rock so I would always have to fill him in on who was who. Well, the owner of the place told us to wait in a corner of  room while he had to greet someone. Well, that someone turned out to be Frank Hannon of Tesla and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I recognized him almost instantly from all of the times I would stare at the back cover of the 20TH Century Millenium collection disc while I was listening to it. I knew right away that Frank had noticed me starring at him and I tried to play it off like I wasn’t and before I knew it he walked right over to me. Now there is several different ways that this could have played out and you’re probably wondering how it did. I became the bumbling idiot that introduced himself to Frank and from my nervousness I told him that Tesla’s first album Mechanical Renaissance ruled. There is only one problem and Frank was quick to correct me on it and that is the album is really called Mechanical Resonance and I was instantly embarrassed because I am the one usually correcting people on album titles and here is a rock God guitarist correcting me. He forgave me for my mistake and he went on to proceed to talk to my best friend who had no idea who he was or who Tesla was. That is my fun story about why I chose this album out of all their albums. I hope this will make it up to Frank over my mistake. Tesla was made of Frank Hannon (Guitarist), Jeff Keith (Vocals),  Tommy Skeoch (Guitar), Brian Wheat (Bass), and Troy Luccketta (Drums) and Mechanical Resonance was the first album released by the band on December 8, 1986.

tesla 2The album kicks off with the bass heavy intro of EZ Come EZ Go that also features some monster riffs from Hannon and Co as the band oozes of hard rock swagger through out the track. Cumin Atcha Live starts with Hannon’s own Eruption before the band kicks it off the blues heavy rock and roll crazy train. Cumin’ Atcha Live is a track that usually kicks off the bands live set and is truly one of my favorite tracks on the record with a pretty amazing guitar duel thrown in the mix. Gettin Better shows off a different side of the band that they would be best known for later on which was being able to mix the acoustic with the bluesy Rolling Stones style hard rock. If by this track you didn’t notice that this band shouldn’t have been categorized with glam metal then you are hopeless. I love the bass line that opens up hard rock/arena rock classic 2 Late 4 Love. The testosterone filled Rock Me To The Top comes next while the bluesy ballad We’re No Good Together ends side 1 of the record.Side 2 kicks off with the Zeppelin-esque Modern Day Cowboy which was also the band’s very first single. One of my favorite and what I believe to be the most underrated piano ballad track Changes is the next track on the album. The band kicks volume back up with their fun cover of Ph.D’s Little Suzi which charted the highest of any single on the album. The fun Aerosmith like hard rock classic Love Me comes next complete with a voice box. The art rock classic Cover Queen rocks just as hard as any of the tracks while Before My Eyes closes out the album with one reviewer called “desolate sobriety”. The band is definitely eclectic when it comes to writing songs and the closer definitely proves that, but maybe that is why this album is considered by most to be their greatest. That is why I am giving the album four stars out of five for the fact that to me it is their best overall album where you can listen to it all the way through. Unfortunately for Tesla, they were categorized with Hair Metal which was very unfair because they clearly had more talent than most of that genre.

The round of 16 held little surprises, but their were a couple of upsets that took place that have surely shook the foundations (no pun intended). Judas Priest was able to take care of Tesla as they won their match by five votes. Motorhead was able to fend off Queensryche who put up a valiant effort while AC/DC Blanked Jackyl. Quiet Riot was also able to fend off Pedal To The Metal tournament vets Warrant to move on to the quarterfinals. The other bracket proved one thing, the sure fire bet isn’t always the sure bet and don’t always listen to Vegas. This competition was created for fans to take enjoyment in voting for their favorite bands and Cinderella has some amazing fans as the band just about took 70% of the votes to defeat Van Halen. The Scorpions also have some amazing fans because the band was losing to Metallica yesterday only to pull the come from behind victory to win by two votes. Metal Church put in a valiant effort against Def Leppard, but it just wasn’t enough to move on while Motley Crue fended off Twisted Sister to move on to the next round. I just want to remind everyone that from here on out the competition gets harder to choose from. Judas priest and Motley Crue were in the final four last year and they are looking to get in this year as Motley Crue takes on the Scorpions and Judas Priest faces Motorhead in the next round. AC/DC look to make it to the final four for the first time as they take on Quiet Riot while the question remains will Cinderella’s fans pull them through another match as they take on Def Leppard? It remains to be seen. The matches will be up tomorrow, so stay tuned!

pedal tourney bracket 1 quarterfinals

pedal tourney bracket 2 quarterfinals

Here are your first section of Round of 16 matches, remember you have until Saturday to vote.

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The results are in as the first round has officially closed and there were some real surprises thrown in the mix. Half of last years final four were eliminated and as usual the first round voter turnout was poor like last years first round. Judas Priest, Motorhead, Twisted Sister, Cinderella, Def Leppard, AC/DC, and Tesla all earned shut outs in the first round with the biggest upset being Metal Church shutting out Megadeth. The other upset in the first round was Jackyl defeating what Vegas called the heavy favorites in Y&T, Quiet Riot defeated Iron Maiden, and Van Halen defeated last years runner up in Dio. Queensryche, Motley Crue, Scorpions, Metallica, and Warrant all earned first round wins. The matches for the round of 16 are set and are ready to be revealed down below. Show your support for your favorite band and vote.

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pedal tourney bracket 2 round of 16

The second match up in the tournament features one of the original hair metal bands in Dokken taking on a band that didn’t deserve to be lumped into the category in Tesla. It’s LA Vs Sacramento, who wins?

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The annual march madness style tournament is back and in my opinion it’s bigger and better than the last year. Our defending champion Judas Priest is back to defend their crown as well as the rest of the final four which included the champion of the first tournament Motley Crue as well as Dio and Ozzy Osbourne. There are some familiar faces from last years tourney as well as some newcomers like D-A-D (Disneyland After Dark), Metal Church, The Cult, Van Halen, etc. As usual there are 32 bands that are competing for the crown of champion and there are some things I need to explain before we get into the actual brackets. The one thing that I don’t want you to pay too much attention to is the ranking, it’s just there because in order to create the bracket I need those. What I did do was divide the final four into different sides of the brackets. I made sure that there was no chance last years final four would meet unless it was the finals. So, if Motley Crue had Judas Priest in last years semifinal, then they can’t meet until the final and so on. All the oppenents for each band were randomly selected by placing names into a hat and one by one they were picked. The flip of a coin decided which side of the bracket they ended up on except for the final four (there placement was pre-determined). The matches will begin tomorrow March 10TH with fans having three days to vote as to who wins in each round. When it comes to the finals, everyone will have a week to decide who wins as the winner will be decided by March 31ST. Here are the brackets:

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pedal tourney bracket 2 copy